Pyro's Wings

Helping the family behind the Pyro's Wings Foundation to tell their son's story and inspire a future generation of US Air Force pilots.

The Challenge

Pyro’s Wings, a charitable foundation awarding aviation scholarships in memory of Captain William “Pyro” DuBois, had a WordPress website which was difficult to update, costly to maintain, and faced serious security issues. They needed a new site which was secure, easy to update, and would do a better job of telling the story of Will to inspire a new generation of pilots to serve in the US Air Force.

What the client said

The Team
Noah Mitchell
Designer & Webflow Developer
The process
The Process

We kicked off this project with a discovery session to better understand the vision, values, and day-to-day challenges of the foundation. Working remotely, we met online and used a visual whiteboarding tool to capture ideas in real time and get aligned on the top goals for the website redesign.

Whiteboard with sticky notes under the headings "Why", "How" and "Why" positioned in concentric circles

Working through a range of activities to get the core of the foundation’s values, we collaboratively identified the key brand attributes which would be a driving force for the look and feel of the new website.

A list of adjectives under each of the following categories: Culture, Customers, Voice, Feeling, Impact and X-Factor
A brand statement using a combination of some of the adjectives from the previous image under the heading "Brand Statement". One line reads "Pryo's Wings provies scholarships and a trail run fundraiser to the best of the best in a journey that memorializes Will Dubois

From there, we created two rounds of Stylescapes to communicate the visual direction of the brand. After the first round of feedback, we quickly discovered that the focus of the project needed to shift from the foundation and its community to the story of Will and future generations of pilots.

This rapid design approach meant that we saved days or weeks of unnecessary work by identifying a needed change in the design very early in the creative process.   With this course correction, we were able to establish a clear design direction that aligned with the brand and goals of the Pyro’s Wings foundation.

With strong leaning towards a patriotic theme, we moved forward to layout out the new home and internal pages. Taking both the existing copy from the previous website as well as adding additional content, we sought to craft a more rounded and motivational experience for the visitors of the site with a better flow between pages and clear calls to action for each of the different audiences of the site: scholarship candidates, trail run participants, and donors.

Finally, working in Webflow allowed us to quickly and flexibly respond to changes and requests during the development phase to include features to help participants navigate to the start of the trail run, display filterable race time results, and share information about related events not included in the original design.

The Previous website
The Solution

Our solution is a website which is a better memorial to the life and service of Captain William “Pyro” DuBois as well as an easy-to-navigate resource for trail run participants and scholarship candidates.

We took some steps to make the experience better for both the foundation team as well as visitors to the site including:

  • Building a robust, user-friendly content management system for making changes and adding content such as scholarship winners, race photos, and links to an online store
  • Creating a filterable list of all race times (including historical trail run data)
  • Showcasing the run photos in a new gallery, organized by year
  • Creating a multi-step form so scholarship candidates can apply online for the first time
  • Displaying photographs and memories of Will more prominently to better tell his story

The Outcome

Will’s family are delighted with the site. Not only are they able to keep the information up to date, better communicate with their foundation community, and achieve their goal of raising up new aviators, they’re now in full control of a resource where they can be proud to share the story of their son, Captain William “Pyro” DuBois.


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